WARO’s Dom Smith was recently a guest on the Prelude Podcast to talk about the development of WARO, plans for the future, Soundsphere magazine, mental health and more. You can listen to the episode below!
Does someone with a disability have a right to leave their house? I’d hope that you’re thinking of course they have a right, we are all citizens of the same world, the same society. Sadly, the reality is that too many people don’t see it that way, at least on a subconscious level.
The worst experience was in a clothes shop when a lady, clearly annoyed that I was in the way hit me around the head with her handbag. Whilst not everyone is so physical with their manifestation of distaste it’s no less painful. Don’t give up hope, there are nice people out there; but it’s sad that this is the exception. I’ve experienced people climbing over me to reach something, which is degrading. People step out in front of my chair with anger I can’t instantly stop. Recently I was expected to reverse down an aisle despite being near the end, to clear the path for a superior walking person. And the amount of people that kick or knock into my chair, in shops, in restaurants, etc is insane and it really hurts.
On Facebook a lady had shared the photo of a train conductor who had asked her to move her pushchair out of the disabled space to allow someone to board the train in a wheelchair. She was horrified that she was expected to place her child in a train seat. She was textually vocal that the disabled person should have been made to wait for the next train, she was there first, and because they were disabled it’s not like they had anywhere to get to. I was absolutely mortified that someone could be so open with this attitude. I tried to politely engage offering some perspective which was fruitless, this lady was set in her view and her language towards anyone disabled was abhorrent. “Most disabled people are just druggies who’ve ended up in wheelchairs” as though the cause of someone’s disability should allow society to determine how they deserve to be treated. I can’t lie, it made me afraid to use public transport.
I am certain these attitudes are validated by the right-wing tabloids attempts to demonise disabled people as benefit scrounging fakers. I’m trying to develop a thick skin and stand up for myself, but is that the solution? Should I have to fight for my right to participate in society? Do I actually have a right to be here, sadly it’s starting to feel like the answer is no. But it is not all doom and gloom, there are things we can do to make changes in our society. Write letters to your local shops asking them to consider how they can make their shop more accessible. Kill any anger you experience with excessive kindness, people don’t know where to look when you respond in an over the top kind way. Search online for details of the numerous campaigns you can join.
Be vocal online, sharing your experiences may help make people think about the impact of their actions. Stay Strong!
Originally published by Unite / Rebecca Doyle
Why should you always go to gigs with a disabled friend? I am clearly biased, having a disability myself, and I think I am great company.
It was in the playground where I enjoyed my first dissociative state. I would’ve been about five. I was looking up at the white blue sky watching spots of dust slip across the lens of my eye. Each spot was a dot with a fine black halo where the meniscus of the tears filming my eye held the dust grain. And a chain of spots, a wonky line, where the impressions of a tiny hair slid down.
Language is the strength at the base of the pillar of any society. Our idiomatic template defines our approach; not just to how we communicate, but how we perceive.